Things That Matter

We Ranked The 11 Best Latin American Countries To Start A Business

Entrepreneurship is on the rise throughout the world. Changing economic landscapes everywhere and people wanting a more flexible lifestyle make this an attractive option. Are you among the many who have your eye toward starting your own business? You may have thought about opening one in the United States or in a large, well-known manufacturing country like Singapore. But, have you ever considered that Latin America might have exactly what you need to start your business? If you haven’t, you’re missing out. We took the guesswork out for you by ranking the 11 best Latin American countries to start a business.  Some of these may surprise you.

11. Guatemala

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Guatemala offers simplicity at its finest. Have you started a business in the United States or at least learned a bit about how businesses are run in the U.S.? If so, it won’t be much of a stretch to start a business in Guatemala.  Don’t like red tape? Lucky for you, there is an established legal framework in Guatemala.

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Rules are clearly defined and give benefits similar to those you would find in the U.S. with a Limited Liability Company (LLC). In Guatemala, they’re called Sociedades Anonimas (SAs). They are not only popular for defining your business and picking and using its name but also for getting your hands on property in Guatemala.

10. Dominican Republic

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Growth, growth, growth! The Dominican Republic has so much to offer, starting with its increasing economic stability due to its attractiveness to foreign investors. It ranks in the world’s top five for Free Zones. You might be thinking, “What makes the Dominican Republic a Free Zone and why should I care?” Well, a free zone has significantly fewer taxes and even offers a variety of exemptions for new businesses.

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Some might even call the Dominican Republic a “tax haven.” In the Dominican Republic, production and labor costs are low, there is easy access to transport and shipping and, as mentioned above, there are significant tax benefits.

9. El Salvador

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Low starting costs, easy currency and another bastion of free zones. What more could you want? In El Salvador, you only need about $100 USD, two shareholders, and a director to incorporate and set up shop.

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Like in the Dominican Republic, you can capitalize on El Salvador’s Free Zones. Who doesn’t want lower taxes?

8. Argentina

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Argentina has had quite the turnaround over the last few years. This is like your favorite underdog story. While Argentina had a major economic and political crisis in the early 2000s, changes to its country’s leadership and its trade processes have made it a great place to start a business. While not as cheap as starting a business in El Salvador, your pocketbook won’t feel too light in Argentina.

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You can start your business with around $300 USD That very small amount lets you reap great rewards. Just some of the rewards you get for your investment are a highly skilled labor force at low costs, minimal taxes due to the country’s free zones and a highly collaborative entrepreneurial spirit.

7. Brazil

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Brazil is an up-and-comer. It is already the sixth largest economy in the world and poised to become the fifth in the next couple of decades. Access to rich mineral resources including self-sufficiency in oil makes it a boon for investors. Innovation is the name of the game, along with smart partnerships. Brazil has partnered with the United States on five core themes: innovation and green technology, trade facilitation, business development, standards, and metrology, as well as intellectual property cooperation.

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Money talks and, here, like several other countries on this list, you pay less money in taxes and get great rewards. The country is also considered a low risk for investments. With fewer natural disasters, a low cost of living and s a well-diversified economy while boosting a stable democracy makes Brazil something extra special.

6. Colombia

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Tourism is where it’s at in Colombia. Colombia ranked No. 2 in places to visit in the New York Times article “52 Places to go in 2018,” along with attention in several other pieces on hot spot destinations. There are many opportunities to bask in the success of the tourism industry with your own business.

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You might consider investing as a tour operator or in running a luxury spa. It also benefits from strong ties to the United States.

5. Peru

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While most of the attention goes to Chile, Costa Rica, and Mexico when it comes to starting a business, Peru won’t be left behind. It has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies and very low inflation.

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Commodity pricing is growing and going strong, especially in the mining industry. You won’t want to be left behind either, so consider Peru for your next business investment.

4. Mexico

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Who doesn’t love a short wait time? In Mexico, it only takes about eight days to get your business up and running. It also ranks among the top 30 percent of the world’s countries for regulatory performance. Making a bunch of legislative reforms means that there is an ever-increasing number of businesses, but also an ever-increasing opportunity to start one.

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Mexicans have a relatively easy time getting credit which means more opportunity for them to spend money with you.

3. Uruguay

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Small, but mighty, Uruguay is often overlooked when it comes to starting a business, primarily due to its size. That is a big mistake, though. Extreme poverty is very low, it has the largest middle-class of any Latin American country (about 60 percent).

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The infrastructure and education also make it a highly sought after place for investment.  The three major industries are agriculture, service, and industry.

2. Costa Rica

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Costa Rica is the land of “La Pura Vida.” Costa Rica is a pioneer in eco-tourism and is the only tropical country in the world to succeed in reversing deforestation. The country has no military. Invest in people and infrastructure instead of weapons? Seems like a good idea.

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If Costa Rica’s economic success on the world’s stage is any indication, it sure is. Access to universal healthcare and a stable region means there is an ever-growing retirement community flocking there as well. What an opportunity!

1. Chile

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Progressive Trade Deals and a low tax rate are certainly enticing. Moreover, Chile is ranked highly for the ease of doing business, But, it wasn’t always that way. There were some challenges that are being addressed. Moving to an online system (isn’t everybody?) means less red tape and a quicker turnaround. Who wants to have to bring all their records in a sealed envelope and wait in line? The country has also stood up for business, including small business.

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They have enacted reforms for stricter contract enforcement. Chile has worked hard to get to its number one spot. It’s enacted many reforms over the years with an eye toward an improved business climate. Chile’s lofty goals are creating jobs, becoming a more competitive economy and stimulating domestic investment.

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

Things That Matter

Black And Afro-Latino Businesses You Can Support To Financially Uplift The Communities

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Black and Afro-Latino businesses are crucial to the growth of wealth within their communities. Latinas are the fastest-growing population of entrepreneurs. Here is a list of Black and Afro-Latino businesses you can support to help build them up.

Cafe Con Libros

Cafe Con Libros is a feminist bookstore and coffee shop serving the Brooklyn area with conversations about things that matter to the community. Though they are closed because of COVID-19, there are several ways you can continue to support the bookstore.

Azteca Negra

Azteca Negra is a textile, jewelry, and accessories line that is all about being culturally conscious. Marisol Catchings, the artist behind Azteca Negra, is a Black/Chicana artist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Catchings also aims at recycling by reusing resources to create her products.

Kimpande Jewelry

Kimpande Jewelry is telling the history of African life and people in Puerto Rico. Eduardo Paz, the designer of the products, wanted to highlight the different African cultures brought to Puerto Rico during the slave trade. The brand is all about buying a piece of history with every piece of jewelry.

Marisel Herbal Bath & Body

Based in Puerto Rico, Marisel Herbal Bath & Body is giving people herbal and natural alternatives to the bath and body products on the market. The store, which has been dealing with the COVID-19 lockdowns, is slowly coming back to life and is offering to ship orders to customers.

Ankhari Crochet

There is something so fun about crochet. It might be that it makes us think about the vintage clothing that we have seen in our parents’ photos. It is fun, stylish, and the colors really giving us some life right now.

Ashanti Headwraps

If you are looking for some new and fun headwraps, this is the place to check out. The brand has stores in Puerto Rico and New York and the stores offer up some beautifully crafted headwraps that anyone can wear.

Pensar Africa

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Fatima – in traceable, ethically made Swag 😷😍💚 . . . Matching mask, Fanny pack and Headwrap available by custom order. DM for more information ℹ️ . . Prevention is better than cure 🦠 😷 . . Local Puerto Rican designer Sanel @disenador_sanelrivera and Pensar Africa have worked together to produced these beautiful masks to protect yourself and others from the spread of Corona Virus – best protection and prevention is to observe social distancing by staying at home but if you need to go out CDC recommends wearing a mask with two layers of tightly woven 100 percent cotton fabric. . . We have created these beautiful reversible, washable mask using high tread count pure Tanzanian 🇹🇿 cotton fabric with pellon interfacing in between for a filter. It also has a pocket to add additional filter if you choose to do so. . . Limited quantity and available in San Juan for drive through pickup only and shipped worldwide 🌍 🌎 . These masks have been disinfected, aired out, packed and ready to go. . . Fanny pack in collaboration with @jashbags . . #facetimephotoshoot with @jorlyfloress #Teamwork #togetherwecan #socialdistancing #coronavirus #protection #protectionisbetterthancure #cdcrecommendation #wearamask #stayathome #coronachronicles #protectivestyles #pensarafrica #sanelriveradiseñador #mask #facemask #santurce #sanjuan #sanjuanpuertorico #puertorico #africanprint #africanfabric #kitenge #ankaramask #africanprintmasks #afroboricua #afrolatina

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Pensar Africa is more than a place to buy things, it is a place to empower African creators. According to the website, Pensar Africa’s mission is to bring African goods to the Americas while providing the creators the opportunity to make money off of their products.

The Salvi Vegan

This food blogger is showing how you can take your favorite Salvadoran dishes and make them vegan. It is a nice reminder that not all support has to cost something. Some times you just have to show support to help those in the community attract opportunities that come with money.

Party Shop Avenue

This is one company we should keep in mind after this is all over. Who doesn’t want a nice balloon structure at their party? These are truly some beautiful pieces of art that you can use to celebrate just about anything.

READ: This Boricua Is Bringing An Indie Bookstore To Her Neighborhood Of 1.4 Million

Coffee Is Steeped In Tradition Across Latin America, Here Is How Each Country Brews The Perfect Cup

Culture

Coffee Is Steeped In Tradition Across Latin America, Here Is How Each Country Brews The Perfect Cup

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OK, so we’re in like Week 12 of lockdown and some of us may have taken up new hobbies and interests to help pass the time. For me, that’s been getting to know a good cup of home-brewed coffee. Plus, the draw of a warm, delicious cup of coffee can definitely help you get your day started with that often much-needed shot of caffeine.

Many coffee experts agree, that now is the time to familiarize yourself with all the traditional coffee methods from around Latin America and figure out which one you like best.

Latin America is one of the biggest producers of coffee beans, but surprisingly, coffee isn’t a big part of life here, with the exception of Cuba, Brazil, and Argentina. But those who do enjoy their coffee, have a wide array of traditions when it comes to preparing that perfect cup.

Like the millions of people and cultures of the world, coffee too has its own variations and traditions surrounding it. Here is a glimpse of how it is prepared and consumed in different ways all over the planet.

Argentina

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Maté may be the official national beverage, but coffee drinking is a refined, lingering art in Argentina’s cafes.

The country’s capital, Buenos Aires, has always been Latin America’s coffee capital and long before any neighboring nation even knew of the existence of a ‘latte’, Porteños were sipping macchiatos (called lagrimas) and café con leche like it was nobody’s business. The city has always offered the best coffee in the entire continent – mostly due to its influx of Italian immigrants who brought with them the traditional techniques of coffee brewing.

Brazil

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Unlike much of South America, coffee is very popular in Brazil, with many Brazilians preferring a cafezinho – a strong and very sweet coffee. And it kinda makes sense considering Brazil is the world’s largest producer of the stuff.

Coffee is consumed all through the day, in dainty little cups, with or without meals. Coffee added to a glass of milk is often served for breakfast to kids as young as 10 years old. Though American-style coffee culture and drinks are gaining popularity, walking while eating or drinking is a strict no-no in Brazil

Colombia

Colombia, known for its great, versatile coffee beans, likes its coffee black with lots of sugar, in small cups. It’s known as tinto and it will leave you awake for days…

Colombia’s coffee culture only recently got off the ground. Prior to 2003, the country’s best beans were only exported and Colombians only had access to the leftover beans. But this has changed and coffee culture is a huge part of Colombian identity.

Cuba

Cuba may be best known for the cafecito – or Cafe Cubano. This very strong drink is a type of espresso coffee that first developed in Cuba after Italians arrived in the country.

The Cafecito beverage is made by sweetening a shot with Demerara sugar, during the coffee brewing process. There are variations on the method including a variety of recipes. The Demerara sugar is traditionally added into the glass into which the espresso will drip so the sugar and espresso mix during brewing which is said to create a unique and smooth quality.

Guatemala

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Guatemalans aren’t huge consumers of coffee. And those who do drink coffee tend to drink it as much of the world does – as a latte or shot of espresso.

However, Guatemala is revered for its superior quality and complexity of flavors. It’s a step above the rest, because many coffee fincas (plantations) still harvest beans in the most traditional of ways. The nation’s highlands are where you’ll want to head and – luckily for you – where you can experience the country’s long-held passion for coffee and discover some of the most magnificent landscapes in the entire continent. The most popular region for coffee lovers to visit is Lake Atitlan, a spectacular area framed by three volcanoes.

Mexico

In Mexico, coffee is often brewed with cinnamon and sugar. The cinnamon and sugar aren’t merely added to the coffee after brewing, but they’re incorporated right into the brewing technique. The result is a coffee that’s at the same time sweet and spicy. 

Cafe de Olla is the national coffee drink and it varies from state to state but it’s definitely a must to try if visiting the county. But it’s also easy to make at home!

Venezuela

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At one point, Venezuela rivaled Colombia in terms of its coffee production. However, those days are long gone and now the country produces less than 1% of the world’s coffee (since 2001). Although some Venezuelan coffee is exported, the vast majority is consumed by the Venezuelans themselves. 

Venezuela’s most renowned coffees are known as Maracaibos. They are named after the port through which they are shipped, close to Colombia. The coffee grown in the eastern mountains is called Caracas, named after the country’s capital.